By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Ripon Christian too much for Stone Ridge
Ripon outlasts TVL rival Hughson to reach D4 semifinals
Stone Ridge-Ripon Christian girls volleyball
Ripon Christian’s Ava Van Groningen (4) defends a Stone Ridge Christian shot. GARY JENSEN/

It is all about the rhythm.

Once top-seeded Ripon Christian found its rhythm Thursday night against visiting No. 8 Stone Ridge Christian Ripon Christian was squarely in the driver’s seat in a 25-12, 25-5, 25-13 sweep in second-round action of the Sac Joaquin Section Division V volleyball playoffs.

But it took Ripon Christian (27-6) a while to get going in the first set. The game was tied at 2-2, 6-6 and 8-8 before Ripon Christian went on an 11-1 run on the way to trailing just one more time on the night.

“For almost the whole season we have been kind of slow starting,” Ripon Christian coach Kayla Kootstra said. “It usually takes us about five to 10 points to get into our rhythm and routine so we were not panicked in that first set. This is our first playoff game, and it’s at home, so there is always going to be a little more nerves but they overcame that and ended up having a great match.

“We have been talking and working all year long on consistency of play and it is about our side of the net and what we’re doing because we can’t control the other side of the net. The girls have improved so dramatically in that and are really doing a great job coming together and making sure we don’t dwell too much on our errors.”

Ripon Christian’s Jordan Vander Veen led her team with 13 kills.

“This being a playoff game everyone came in with a lot of nerves,” Vander Veen said. “We just had to settle down and play our game.

“Once I got in a rhythm with the team it was just like every other game, and with setters like Megan (Weststeyn) and passers like Leah (Van Wyngarden) it is easy to get in that rhythm. We are consistent with our hitting and our passing and that allows for a lot of options with our offense.”

Weststeyn dished out 32 assists.

“It is really nice when the passes are on,” Weststeyn said. It is really easy to set the hitters and the hitters can always kill that ball.

Van Wyngarden hustled for eight digs.

“It’s just all about the team,” Van Wyngarden said. “If it means putting your body on the floor you have to do it.

“There was a lot of encouragement from my teammates and when they tell me I can get it I just go.”

Sydney Hoffman added 12 kills for Ripon Christian and Ava Van Groningen chipped in six kills and six digs.

Stone Ridge Christian of Merced dropped to 19-14.

Ripon Christian hosts No. 5 Bear River of Grass Valley at 7 p.m.


Division IV

Ripon 3, Hughson 1

The second-seeded Indians (20-10) staved off their Trans-Valley League rival, 27-25, 25-27, 25-18, 26-24. Hughson (22-12) checked in as the No. 7 seed.

Kylee Fullmer led them with seven kills, six digs and seven aces. Adriana Dorn had nine kills, four assists and three blocks. Kaya Whitaker contributed 15 assists and three aces, while Reagan Wilkerson added 12 assists. Emeri Lane paced the defense with six digs.

With a NorCal berth clinched, Ripon next hosts No. 3 Sutter in the semifinal round next Tuesday. Sutter (28-4-1) swept No. 11 Colfax.